Knowing When To Quit – Does Your Project REALLY Have A Future?
Posted on September 16, 2012
Filed Under Productivity Tips
Today I have a guest post from my good friend Stuart…
Tomaz has just come for a short visit to Malta to get a little sun and warmth. It took the opportunity to rain – a real rarity here.
While here we discussed mindset – what else can you discuss with Tomaz other than tennis???
Our conversation about business and success mindset lasted several hours – you need to be a bit geeky to hang around with us – and during that time I mentioned that I had recently been listening to an Eben Pagan training course, “How to build a successful business from scratch”.
I haven’t finished it yet, but am about half way through.
I buy a good number of marketing and internet marketing training courses and products. As with many people, I am trying to improve and grow and I realise that I do not have all the answers.
As I like to say, “I mostly don’t have the questions either…”
One of the points from the mindset session at the start of the course was the following, “80 percent of what I try won’t work”.
I found that really interesting because like so many people, I have a number of failed IM projects behind me. I also have a number of very marginally successful projects behind me as well.
I took that mindset as a way to start convincing myself to “abandon things that don’t work” more readily.
I should not really need this help, one of my favourite sayings ought to have been enough, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it”.
I wish I could remember who said it – apologies for not being able to attribute it.
Thinking this way has lead me to abandon a project recently though.
Earlier in the year I met a number of online marketing guys in Berlin. While talking to them, it became clear that there was an opportunity for me to work with a Danish guy.
He was hoping to add a linking service to other services he already provides for Danish internet types.
I suggested that I could build a blog network for him. I would find domains in GoDaddy Auctions with words like “denmark” and “danish” in the title and run them through a selection criteria to ensure they had some standing online.
He would then find someone that could provide written content in Danish and we would be off to the races.
I had not built a blog network before, so it would have been new to me, possibly interesting and with the potential to generate a new income source. Nice.
A few months (four) later and we had a few very average domains and no content. As often as I looked, there were no domains with the right profile expiring.
He had spent weeks looking for a content writer and failed. In the end, it took eleven weeks to get just five short articles written.
If our plan had come to fruition, we would have needed as many as perhaps two hundred articles at short notice.
In short, the plan was not looking good.
An email conversation between us had me trying to pull the plug, admitting that we just would not be able to deliver what we needed to and my Danish partner trying to push on.
We have finally (I hope) dropped the idea, but it was surprising to me just how hard that was because of his entrepreneurial drive, despite compelling evidence that the project was not going well.
We entrepreneurs want to succeed and have high hopes for the future.
We think that if we keep pushing on we can make anything work. Perhaps we can.
Sometimes though, we need to know when to quit.
Are you bashing away at a project that just does not seem to be justifying the effort?
You can read more by Stuart at http://www.stuartlangridge.com
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